4 quick takeaways from Texans' loss to Colts

The Houston Texans dropped their first game after losing quarterback Deshaun Watson. Tom Savage fumbled on fourth and goal to seal the game for the Colts 20-14. In truth, the Texans didn’t deserve the opportunity for the game-winning score. The Colts were by far the better team and completely shut down the Texans offense until the fourth quarter.

Here are four quick takeaways:

Tom Savage is not an NFL starting quarterback but will start next week

Savage is not good. Most people knew that coming into Sunday’s game and this performance only validated that notion. Savage is wildly inaccurate and stares down his first read too often. He is statue-like in the pocket and panics under pressure, losing his grip on the ball too often when sacked.

Savage’s fourth quarter may have given some hope. He finally threw his first NFL touchdown on a dime to DeAndre Hopkins and moved the ball efficiently and effectively, leaving the Texans with four plays at the end zone. Savage could not find open men for the score, however, missing a wide-open Will Fuller whilst staring down DeAndre Hopkins and then not having time to hit Stephen Anderson on the sealing sack-fumble. The Texans offense put up just seven points on the day against one of the worst defenses in the NFL

The Texans should go out and sign a quarterback of the ilk of a Colin Kaepernick or Robert Griffin III to add a different dimension to the offense, and they may well in the wake of this game. But Tom Savage will be your Houston Texans starting quarterback next week.

Julie’n Davenport isn’t ready

The Texans started fourth-rounder Davenport at left tackle this week, but the rookie lasted only a half in his first NFL start before a banged-up Chris Clark took his place. Davenport struggled with the Colts average edge rushers, allowing a number of pressures and being beaten for a sack. He also struggled in the run game, being called for a hold on a good Lamar Miller run in addition to several missed blocks.

Davenport was not helped by Savage’s tendency to hang onto the ball, but on this tape, it is hard to envisage Davenport as a viable starting NFL tackle until at least next year. Chris Clark was not much better, it must be said, but the veteran at least got some push in the run game and is the better option.

Secondary struggles

This Houston Texans secondary is not very good, and it had a bad performance again this week. Jacoby Brissett torched them through the air to the tune of 308 yards. T.Y. Hilton has often given Houston problems, and he got himself 175 yards and a pair of long touchdown catches.

The second of those touchdowns was the most egregious play of the afternoon. Andre Hal got burnt on a crossing route to allow Hilton into the open field. Kareem Jackson did relatively well in isolation near the sideline, forcing Hilton to leap over the corner and to the ground, just missing the receiver’s knee as he jumped over him but not touching him. The whistles didn’t blow, and the play was still live. Hal at this point had finally run Hilton down but jogged right past the grounded wideout, allowing the Colts star to get back up and jog into the end zone.

The normally reliable Johnathan Joseph was burned for a long touchdown, and the Texans failed to deal with tight end Jack Doyle, who had eight catches. The Texans defensive backs were called for a number of questionable flags during the course of the game, but it was another poor showing from the secondary.

Ka’imi Fairbairn’s miss proves costly

The Houston Texans may come to rue a special teams blunder once again. Reliable kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn missed his first field goal of the season at 7-0 down early in the second quarter.

Fairbairn’s 39-yard miss drastically changed the game situation down the stretch. The Texans had to score a touchdown on their final drive to tie or win the game, a tough ask for such a soporific offense. If Fairbairn had made his earlier kick, they would have been driving just three points down and able to tie the game with a field goal. The team had wrestled momentum back and would have felt confident on sealing the game in overtime had this situation occurred.

Alas, it was not to be. This was a bad performance from a Texans team that looked lifeless with Deshaun Watson no longer at the helm. The Colts had beaten solely the zero win 49ers and Browns coming into this game, epitomising the sorry depths the Texans plunged. The Texans now sit at 3-5 and travel to Los Angeles to face the red-hot Rams next week. It is unlikely to see them win that game.

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